i’m with gem — i am turning off the news today. only gonna listen to music, watch fun stuff and talk with people i love. we can’t control what’s going on …. we can only control our own attitudes. i for one don’t want to add to the negativity, cynicism and fear that is being magnified in the media.
As a matter of perspective, here’s a poster that the British government commissioned during world war two to soothe rattled public sensibilities:
It was feared that in the early months of the war Britain would be subjected to gas attacks, heavy bombing raids and even invasion. The posters were intended to offer the public reassurance in the dark days which lay ahead.
H/T to Christa.
“Remember, we are all affecting the world every moment, whether we mean to or not. Our actions and states of mind matter, because we are so deeply interconnected with one another. Working on our own consciousness is the most important thing that we are doing at any moment, and being love is a supreme creative act.”
– Ram Dass
the last couple of times i saw john and had good one-on-one time with him we were engaged in spiritual discussions. not talking about religion (he was a devout catholic and i am not), but spirituality — why we’re here, what it’s all about sort of chats. it was a treat to have someone to talk about these things with — i could go out on a limb with loose, airy words and ideas and he knew what i meant and shared my questions and concerns. he didn’t peg me as some hippy dippy new ageist or a remote intellectual. it wasn’t politics, philosophy or religion that we talked about … it was hard to put a label on it and we never did.
we started sharing book recommendations and the last time i saw him, he gave me a copy of thomas merton’s the seven storey mountain. i opened it a few times and tried to get into it but it is so thick and intimidating, and i am not a huge fan of roman catholicism or organized religion in general so i was admittedly skeptical. now i am definitely going to rededicate myself to the task of reading it, and see what it’s all about. i knew the name thomas merton because they have a whole section on him in one of my favorite bookstores where most of the literature is buddhism-based. in reading about thomas merton today i came across this interesting bit of info:
- merton was a keen proponent of inter-religious understanding, engaging in spiritual dialogues with the dalai lama, thich nhat hanh and d. t. suzuki.
the last time we had dinner, the night he gave me the book, we got into a chat about the future. we had both been through college, grad school and early manhattan career life together and had both come to similar states of disillusionment. knowing you can be as accomplished and successful as you want, as rich as you want … but for what? we tended to dwell on “what it is we are meant to do.” he was very clear on the fact that he had found his love and purpose in sara and the kids, and that one day when the kids got old enough they hoped to build a school in latin america, or something along those lines. his only motivation was to live up to his potential and to leave the world better than he had found it. it wasn’t for the glory. he hated to receive praise and recognition. it can seem intimidating to know a person like this … his goodness a reminder of one’s own faults. but john did not show off and he did not judge. he had all kinds of friends from all walks of life and he loved them all as individuals, for who they were — he didn’t judge anyone. john was genuinely interested just in knowing them and being a good friend to them.
john asked me if i was serious about writing, whether i wanted to be writing books and movies and stuff like that, and if not that then what? i said i didn’t know … that part of me is attracted to it but i that i felt like i lost my ambition and didn’t want to do shallow work. but then i admitted that i was/am afraid of failing. i remember so clearly him saying that i should just go for it, that i had nothing to lose and what is failure anyway? i said i didn’t know what it was i wanted to go for. that was the problem and he said he could relate. i care about art and creativity and new ideas and just want to be able to discover, express, live, make stuff and have fun. i know there’s a way for me to do that, i know i can and will do that. in the interim … how best to pass the time? we talked about the difficulty of having patience, of how hard it is to let go and let things develop when we’re so used to having direct, ambitious goals and going after them.
now that he died I don’t think the conversation is over. i think it will go on and on and while i am bummed not to have him here to hash it out in person, i know he will always be a part of me … deep in my heart and spirit and those dark corners where only the very best of friends come to visit and stay.
phyll and i saw burn after reading. it wasn’t great. good, but not great. notably, the studio is doing tons of marketing this time, fresh off the academy award for no country. this is not one of the cohen brother’s best. though frances mc dormand is still my hero. and it is funny to see george clooney as a cheesy lothario who wears a gold chain. but you can wait for netflix or cable. for sure. snl wasn’t so good either. breaks my heart. the cast is so talented. granted, phelps was a wet fish −didn’t give them much to work with in the hosting department but the writing was still quite weak. they can pull together and have a good season … just need to get their flow back.
other notable weekend things: in the theme of “being good to myself in a very tough time” i got a facial and had my apartment professionally cleaned. diva. i also slept 15 hours both days, thanks to some pharmacological aids. shwoo, am beginning to feel like a normal person again. ate and drank with pals, went on a 3 hour bike ride in the blistering heat, went shopping and bought some new fall shit. it’s a new season, bitches, and i am ready to go!
get ready for a cryptic zen col on overdrive post.
i totes agree with this … lots of it anyway. it also explains why i dropped out of “journalism,” rarely pay attention to the media while living in constant study and fascination of it. and why i choose art and living.
How did it come to be that what we call the news is reported solely by journalists? There are so many other kinds of events besides the narrow band favored by that highly specialized brand of storytellers. Indeed, there are many phenomena that can literally not even be perceived by journalists. Their training, their temperament, and their ambitions make vast areas of human experience invisible to them.
“Ninety-six percent of the cosmos puzzles astronomers.” I loved reading that headline on the CNN website. It showed that at least some of our culture’s equivalents of high priests, the scientists, are humble enough to acknowledge that the universe is made mostly of stuff they can’t even detect, let alone study.
If only the journalists were equally modest. Since they’re not, we’ll say it: The majority of everything that happens on this planet is invisible to them.
last night i rode my bike to my trainer’s place. he asked how the light works and i said it’s busted and i use an earring to turn it on. he said i was the macgyver of chicks … i totes loved that.
so today i’m 33 — the age JC was when he died. the attention and presents have started pouring in and being the leo that i am i love it. how lucky i am to have my friends, my health, my life. wanted to do a whole long interesting philosophical post but am not in the mood. better yet, here’s a song that best expresses where i am right now …
my cousin kate has a story from her childhood that exemplifies the practical/repressed mindset of our parents when we were little. it was summer vacation and she had slept over at the neighbor’s house, hung at the pool with them, had pizza and cake and was invited to sleep over a second night in a row. kate was thrilled by the prospect of extending the party another day, but her mom said no. kate did what any 8 year old would do − she asked why not. her mom’s reply: “it’s just too much fun.”
i might have received similar castigation for the way i conducted this weekend. here are some things i did:
- got blonded at blow and tried to convince my pal david that paul mccartney/wings wasn’t all terrible. i even burned him a cd … he was nonplussed and tried to rope me into an either/or situation comparing post beatles paul to post beatles john. i told him to shut it — that if paul had died too we’d not been having this convo, and hell why does everything have to be compared to the prior body of work? he said john was on track to being perennially cool and i said okay fine but why do we have to put someone (paul) down?
- mailed several letters with shiny heart stickers on them.
- watched Julian Schnabel’s the diving bell and the butterfly. love love loved it and cried tons. need to read the book.
- had dinner with a delightful group on sat. night. learned about the u-nanna-versity of vajayjay, youparklikeanasshole.com and an amazing show on fx called damages.
- went down the shore with my girls. we laughed our asses off. sat amongst jersey’s finest tattoos, piercings, guido talk. i swam in the ocean and the water was peeeeeeeeeerfect. when my hair dried i looked like spicoli and ali quoted him and i twittered it.
- i left my wallet in new jersey (safe in a phyll’s car but still – tres inconvenient).
- i went for a bike ride (sans helmet − rebel yell!) and saw a rainbow.
- i bought one can of cat food ($.75) with some loose change so aretha won’t starve and talked jill into meeting me for drinks (that she’d buy) at the piggy.
the douchebag of the day award goes to the guy who wore the tshirt that said: “my labradoodle loves me no matter what my golf score is.” the runner up was a passive aggressive biker who snottily yelled out to a band of tourists as he rode by, “thanks for blocking the path!”
if a life this fun is wrong, i don’t want to be right.
1) NEW SPORTS ANALOGY: the game is now lacrosse − It’s not moving a big fat ball down a field anymore … its deftly flinging a smaller and more precious ball (audience) all over the place … scooping it and flinging it in a targeted and relentless fashion. giants don’t necessarily win. “The sport of lacrosse is a combination of basketball, soccer and hockey. Anyone can play lacrosse–the big or the small. The game requires and rewards coordination and agility, not brawn.” Actually, maybe it’s a game of lacrosse overlayed upon a game of football or basketball. How to conduct both games at once without everyone crashing into each other − there’s the challenge.
2) MONTAGE COLLAGE: because of the difficulty of launching anything new, a montage approach, blending the unknown with the known, making a new collage that connects new ideas with old ones, is desirable. It also jives with people’s new timeless sensibility. The past – what’s that? When video and info and people and connections are at your fingertips, nothing’s ever over. Everything is always there − with the potential in each moment to be new, and hot. Like an awesome R&B hook sampled in a hip hop song. As for the new new … will it ever be like the old new? No, it’s a new kind of new.
3) FULL ENTERTAINMENT EXPERIENCE − People want out. They want to be outside. Doing different things, being healthy, being together, participating. The social networking phenomenon is visible and measurable online (though no one knows how to make money off it yet) … but there’s a whole live out-of-home dimension to the phenomenon. People reconnecting and coming out of the woodwork, live and in person. Whereas TV used to be their shared campfire, now there’s opportunity for new live campfires. New shared destinations. And I’m not just talking corny theme parks, imax, and live concerts. There’s more to it. I have a dream of creating a space I call “My Favorite Everything.” It’s a physical locale where visitors can experience all of my favorite things from all time − videos, music, images, words, memories, objects and even some live human beings. It would be like physically going to your favorite channel. Or my favorite channel, I should say. An artist pal said it’s an installation and I should build it. An entrepreneur friend said sounds like a cool invention. I keep thinking about it and I am sure many others are creating their own too.
4) THE NATURE OF REALITY — I also keep thinking of how tripped out it will be if/when reality TV assimilates into reality … there’s no casting anymore, no show per se but people are all celebs in their own mini worlds. Hard to describe but I see it coming …
5) VARIETY SHOWS — this is more of a near-term thing but i think the variety show may have a resurgence. i attended a will ferrell funny or die show at radio city back in the winter and thought: variety shows are poised to come back. american idol plus comedy plus other kinds of fun. now word on the street is rosie o’donnell is getting a show on fox prime time. “The new show could turn out to be a 2009 version of Carol Burnett or even ‘The Ed Sullivan Show.'” the osbournes may be getting onr too. good idea. the hardest part is finding the hosts/casts who can carry it off. leno, now avail, would be perfect.